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      U.P. troops coming home

      After spending 10 months in Afghanistan, members of the 1431st Engineer Sapper Company are coming home Tuesday. The 114 members of the National Guard are scheduled to arrive in the Keweenaw.

      For family and friends, it TMs been a tough year.

      "It's been difficult, it's been an emotional rollercoaster of ups and downs and sleepless nights, just lots of emotions, lots of worry," said Stacey Corrigan, wife of a deployed soldier.

      For Specialist Patty Thomas, herself in the National Guard, it'll be extra special to see her son who was deployed.

      "I'm excited to see my son because I haven't seen much of him in the last three years, because of my deployment and then his deployment, said Thomas. So it will be nice to see him come home."

      Their primary mission while in Afghanistan was to protect convoys by locating and destroying improvised explosive devices.

      Specialist Jonathan French is a part of the 1431st unit, but is recovering back here in the U.P. after suffering arm and internal injuries while fighting in Afghanistan.

      "We were on a route clearance mission on the 19th of July and we were hit by small arms fire, an R.P.G., rocket propelled grenade," said French.

      It's that kind of bravery that the Keweenaw Peninsula is honoring, with yellow ribbons and signs of support.

      The 1431st is expected to arrive at the Houghton County Airport Tuesday morning at 10:15. After that there will be a parade through town. Next, there will be a welcome home ceremony at 11:30 a.m. at the CLK school gym.


      4:26 p.m. - November 23, 2009 - Newsroom

      S tacey Corrigan's husband is one of those returning tomorrow. This is his second tour of duty. Stacey told me she's been waiting for this day even before he left.

      You can hear more from Stacey and others in my story that airs tonight on your TV6 Early News.

      12:31 p.m. - November 23, 2009 - Calumet

      I just got done talking with folks from the National Guard at the Calumet Armory.

      One of the soldiers there is part of the 1431st, but was injured by a rocket propelled grenade this past July and is back here recovering.

      He told us that he's very excited to see his friends who will be coming home Tuesday morning.

      I'll have another update when I get back to the newsroom. Check back soon.

      7:13 a.m. - November 23, 2009 - Newsroom

      It's a pretty fogging morning up here in Negaunee. Hopefully it will be OK on my way to Calumet today. I'm heading to the Keweenaw as people up there prepare for the return of 1431st Engineer Company. The soldiers have been in Afghanistan for the last year and tomorrow they're coming home. We'll look at how the community gets ready for their welcome home party.

      I'll have another update later.